Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Sitting suspended in Parliament as tempers flare during crime discussion

Published:Tuesday | November 3, 2015 | 11:57 PM
Holness blamed the rise in the murder tally on the refusal of the People’s National Party opposition in 2010 to support a second extension of a state of emergency limited to three parishes following the West Kingston operation.

The House Speaker Michael Peart was this afternoon forced to suspend the sitting after unruly members descended into shouting during discussions on the rise in crime.

It intensified after the opposition Leader Andrew Holness responding to a statement by the National Security Minister Peter Bunting called him rude, bright and out of order.

Bunting had used a ministerial statement to denounce Holness’ pronouncement at a political meeting that people were more likely to die if the People’s National Party is in power.

Opposition Leader Andrew Holness

Opposition Leader Andrew Holness.

Holness blamed the rise in the murder tally on the refusal of the People’s National Party opposition in 2010 to support a second extension of a state of emergency limited to three parishes following the West Kingston operation.

As Bunting sought to reply to the opposition Leader, he appealed to Holness to “calm down”.

That did not sit well with the opposition members who shouted, demanding that respect be shown towards the opposition leader.

National Security Minister Peter Bunting.

National Security Minister Peter Bunting.

The Speaker warned that he would suspend the sitting if the members continued to display poor behaviour but they did not yield forcing him to suspend the sitting for 15 minutes and summon the leaders of Government and opposition business to his office.

On resumption, Peart described the incident as unfortunate and ruled that he would not allow any further statements only questions.